5 Nursing Scenario Interview Questions Examples

Nursing scenario interview questions

Nursing isn’t easy, and it takes a special kind of person to handle the day-to-day duties this profession deals with while at work.

Nurses come into contact with all types of people from all walks of life and with many different health concerns, mental statuses, and behaviors.

During the hiring process, employers are often looking for candidates that show they can handle themselves in all different situations and scenarios without losing their cool or becoming overly anxious.

When you walk into a nursing interview, you will be faced with multiple nursing scenario interview questions, and you must be ready to answer them with confidence.

That is why we have developed a list of the top five most commonly asked nursing scenario interview questions, giving you a great start to a successful interview.

5 Most Common Nursing Scenario Interview Questions and Answers

The best way to be prepared for any interview is:

  1. to take the time to do some homework,
  2. get an idea of the questions you will be facing,
  3. then practice those questions over and over until the words flow freely,
  4. making you the most qualified candidate for the job.

Listed below are the five most common nursing scenario questions you might be asked at an interview, with the reasons employers ask these questions and some great example answers for you to reference when developing your own.

1. How would you handle a patient refusing critical medical intervention?

There are many people who will refuse any type of medical intervention for a bunch of different reasons.

Whether they are scared, confused, don’t have the financial resources to pay for the treatment, etc.

Employers will ask this question to ensure the interviewee has the skills to work with unruly patients to successfully get them to accept help.

Example answer:

The best way to convince a patient to accept treatment is to first identify the core reason they are refusing it in the first place.

Most of the time, patients just need to be listened to, and the reason they don’t want the help comes with a simple solution.

For example, give them information about financial aid or break down the details of why the treatment is important.

See also: ICU Nurse Interview Questions

2. What would you do with an emotional family member making a scene in front of the patient?

Anyone in the nursing field is aware of family emotions and how the way a loved one’s actions can negatively affect the patient and make the entire process of treatment complicated.

When an employer asks this question, you have to provide proof that you can deal with this situation effectively and promptly to reduce the level of anxiety in the patients as well as keep them out of the way of medical treatment or intervening with any procedures.

Example answer:

Empathy works well in high-stress situations.

I believe it is imperative to give the family as much information as you can while at the same time explaining to them the ramifications of their actions.

Let them know you understand their concerns and ensure their loved ones are in great hands.

If I can not get the individual to comply, I can usually get them out of the room by preoccupying them with other tasks such as paperwork or making phone calls.

3. What would you do if the nurse before you forgot to note they gave the patient medication and they call to ask you to sign off on this for them in the chart?

If you are applying for a position where nurses are rotating shifts to care for the same patient, such as in a hospital setting, there are times when things can be overlooked, and most people want to do the right thing.

However, this question serves as proof you know the rules and regulations regarding these scenarios, which makes this action illegal.

Example answer:

While I would love to help my co-worker, I am aware that you can not make notes and initials for another nurse.

Instead, I would let that nurse know that I would be more than happy to make a separate note and stick it to the patient chart, so the medication isn’t given twice.

4. What would you do if you saw a co-worker mistreat a patient?

While employers never want to be the middle man with inter-office arguments, they do want to ensure all nurses are aware of their responsibility to make sure patients are treated with the utmost respect and provided proper care.

Example answer:

If I saw a co-worker mistreating a patient in any way, I would confront the person away from the patient and see if the issue can be resolved then and there.

If the problem persists or the coworker becomes irate, I would be forced to bring it to the attention of a supervisor as I believe all patients have a right to professional care.

5. What would you do if you don’t agree with a doctor’s order?

Although most nurses know it is important to listen to the physician in charge, there may be times when the physician misses something or makes a mistake.

Employers want to know you are able to handle these issues correctly.

Example answer:

I would never second guess a doctor unless I know for sure they have missed something or made an absolute mistake.

I would bring this concern to them immediately, making sure I had proof backing it up and in a professional and kind manner so as not to step on any toes.

How to Answer About Nursing Interview Scenario Questions?

When you go into an interview, it is critical you are ready for anything.

When answering nursing scenario questions, make sure you base the answers on facts and sound confident.

Employers want to make sure the person they hire really knows their stuff. 

Conclusion: Nursing Interview Scenario Questions

If you are preparing yourself for a nursing interview, the best thing to do to prepare is by practicing your answers to any questions that may come your way.

In the article above, there are five great questions that will help you prepare for an interview you will nail.

Good luck with your upcoming interview!

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